24 Jul GS 2013 art 93
GS 2013 Article 93 – Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS)
Committee 1 presented its draft. With some changes, this was the result:
- 1.1. Report from the CCCNA re: the RCUS (8.2.3)
- 1.2. Letters from the church of London (126.96.36.199) and Calgary (188.8.131.52)
- 2.1. Synod Burlington 2010 gave the CCCNA the following mandate in regard to the RCUS (Acts, Article 28, Recommendation 4.2):
- [4.2.1.] To continue the relationship of EF with the RCUS under the adopted rules;
- [4.2.2.] To endeavour to meet at least once a year to discuss matters of mutual concern and edification;
- [4.2.3.] To share more detailed information with the churches about the nature and the development of its dialogue with the RCUS.
- 2.2. The CCCNA attended RCUS Synods in 2011 and 2012 and with the RCUS Inter-Church Committee (IRC) at meetings of NAPARC in 2010 and 2011.
- 2.3. The CCCNA discussed with the IRC a variety of matters relating to church life, such as the practice of church visitation, the promotion of biblical sexual morality and theological education. With respect to the latter, Calgary expresses disappointment that CRTS is not among the approved seminaries. The IRC also updated the CCCNA concerning its various ecclesiastical relationships and noted with concern the trends in hermeneutics in the RCN.
- 2.4. The CCCNA reports that it provided an explanation and clarification on the CanRC practice of admitting guests to the Lord’s Supper.
- 2.5. The CCCNA reports that it has discussed with the IRC ways in which to enhance our relationship and make it more concrete for the membership. At the RCUS 2012 Synod, three recommendations were adopted with a view to fostering closer relations: to have a periodic exchange of articles between the Reformed Herald and Clarion, to invite CanRC youth to the RCUS summer camps and to consider pulpit exchanges between the RCUS and the CanRC. The CCCNA is in favour of these recommendations and encourages the local churches to do what they can to enhance our contact with the RCUS.
- 2.6. London observes that the CCCNA did not comment further on “matters of concern raised by the churches,” namely Lord’s Supper celebration to shut-ins, fencing of the Lord’s table, confessional membership and Lord’s Day observance (Acts 2007, Article 107). London grants that although Synod Burlington 2010 was vague in its mandate to the committee, in its considerations synod supported the idea that “working toward a more unified position on these significant matters ought to be one of the goals of being churches in EF” (Acts 2010, Article 28, Consideration 3.6). In addition, Synod Burlington 2010 noted that “As the CCCNA carries out the CanRC’s responsibility towards the RCUS … attention can continue to be given to the topics mentioned by the churches when necessary and appropriate” (Article 28, Consideration 3.7). London recommends that Synod 2013 reemphasize the importance of such discussion again in the CCCNA’s mandate.
- 2.7. The CCCNA recommends that Synod decide:
- [1.] To thank the LORD for the way in which the RCUS actively provides a faithful Reformed witness to the gospel.
- [2.] To mandate the CCCNA to continue the relationship of EF with the RCUS under the adopted rules and to endeavour to meet at least once a year to discuss matters of mutual concern and edification.
- 3.1. It is evident that the CCCNA has been active in maintaining the relationship with the RCUS. The committee has had dialogue with the IRC on a number of issues pertaining to church life and ecclesiastical relationships, including the matter of supervision of the Lord’s table.
- 3.2. It would be beneficial for the local CanRC churches to continue to do what they can to enhance contact with the RCUS.
- 3.3. Some matters for discussion with the RCUS (e.g., Lord’s Day observance, fencing of the Lord’s table) are still valid and need to continue to be addressed in the context of Rule 1 of EF.
- 3.4. It should be pointed out that the RCUS does require confessional membership through the making of public vows (profession of faith). Further, Synod Smithers 2007 ruled that there was no need to make special provisions in the Church Order for the administration of the Lord’s Supper to shut-ins (Article 96) and as such, the same practice in the RCUS should not be of concern to the CanRC.
That Synod decide:
- 4.1. To thank the CCCNA for its labours in maintaining our relationship with the RCUS.
- 4.2. To mandate the CCCNA:
- 4.2.1. To thank the Lord for the way in which the RCUS actively provides a faithful Reformed witness to the gospel.
- 4.2.2. To mandate the CCCNA to continue the relationship of EF with the RCUS under the adopted rules and to endeavour to meet regularly to discuss matters of mutual concern and edification, giving attention to the matters of Lord’s Day observance and admission to the Lord’s table.